Most people moving out of home will have time to plan, and plan they should. Sit down and calculate your weekly earnings. Ideally, you don’t want to spend more than 30% of that amount on rent, if you want to be able to maintain a reasonable lifestyle. You’ll also need to plan for a bond, a plan for how you want meals to work (will you cook with your housemates or independently?) and a plan on how you and your future housemates will purchase whitegoods and other large purchases for your home.
Know your budget
Beyond knowing your rent limitations, you also need to consider the other financial costs of moving out of home. While living on instant noodles seems like a fun idea if you run out of money, in reality it quickly becomes boring and you crave other foods and so shouldn’t be a legitimate back up plan. Look at your current cost of living and work out where you can make small cuts – taking your lunch to work, eating at home one extra night each week and drinking one less cocktail on a Friday are all small ways to save money. You can save money on bills by opting for more natural methods to heat and cool your home, asking your internet provider about how much data you’re actually using and not using the dishwasher every night.
Know your rights
Almost everyone has a horror story involving a housemate or landlord from their younger days, before they knew their rights. Nip this one in the bud before it happens by reading up on your rights as a tenant, and not being afraid to ask if you can have the lease looked over by a lawyer. For instance, your landlord can’t enter the property without giving at least one week’s notice in writing and they are unable to increase your rent without following certain procedures, nor are they able to raise your rent more than a set percentage (this percentage varies city to city). Being aware of these will help you hold the upper hand if something does go wrong.
Visit the area you want to move to
It’s all well and good to find the perfect house, for the right price... unless that house isn’t in a safe suburb OR is miles from reliable public transport. Visit the suburb you want to move to in the day time, at night time and definitely on a Sunday. Visit via bus, via train and then walk from the closest supermarket to the area you want to move into. Definitely visit with friends, explore the local cafes and shops and just generally acquaint yourself with the area. You’ll be glad you did it when you eventually make the move.
Pick your housemates wisely
Moving in with your best friend might seem like the world’s very best idea, but it rarely works out that way. When dealing with things like rent, bills and even who bought the last round of milk, tension can creep into your relationship quickly if you’re not prepared for it. In most cases, you’ll find your other friends recommend that you live with people who are ‘housemates first, friends second’, as you’ll be more comfortable asking a housemate for their fair share of a bill for damage than you will a close friend. It also stands that if you live with someone who is your housemate first, you won’t feel pressured to always hang out with them, or invite them on outings, as you continue to maintain your independent lives outside of your home.